Goli de Lagaan aka actor Daya Shankar Pandey: “We didn’t let Bhuvan and Gauri romance”

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For actor Daya Shankar Pandey, who played the fast melon Goli in cult Ashutosh film Gowariker Lagaan, it was the dance role he dreaded. The actor, who had a good song “Mitwa” with Aamir Khan’s Bhuvan, revealed that he was glad he refused to follow his choreography.

Lagaan, released in 2001, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on June 15. Ahead of the special day, Daya Shankar revisited the making of the epic saga and also explained why “Mitwa” literally shook her spine.

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Chatting exclusively with indianexpress.com, Daya recalled the filming of the song, which was based on her character, a farmer by profession. He said: “Bhuvan is trying to convince me to join the cricket team. Even the lyrics were written accordingly – “Dharti ka raja hai tu”, which means it is about a farmer. The plan was for Aamir and I to go dancing. I even rehearsed with choreographer Ganesh Hegde for 4 to 5 days. But we both hit our heads. I tried, but noticed during rehearsals that I was pathetic. I just couldn’t handle it. Then I went to see Aamir and Ashutosh with folded hands asked them not to make me dance. I knew 20 years later people will laugh at me dancing with Aamir. Just to save my respect, I slowly backtracked.

lagaan stills cast aamir daya shankar rajesh vivek amin hajee Lagaan had an ensemble cast. (Photo: Screenshot / Aamir Khan Productions)

Daya shared that each day the actors reach the set, put on their costumes, and stay to shoot their scenes. He joked, however, that the 11 actors were a part of almost every scene in Lagaan except one.

“If you notice, we’re all in every frame. We didn’t let Bhuvan and Gauri romance, we used to barge in everywhere. It was only the song “O Re Chori” where we miss it, because Bhuvan didn’t tell us. He just went to the top of the hill and sang it in secret. If we knew, we would have got there as well, ”he said.

Lagaan, also played Gracy Singh, Suhasini Mulay, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, AK Hangal, the UK cast, in addition to the eleven actors who made up the “Lagaan 11” team.

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The film was Aamir Khan’s first production and it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars the following year.

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